Press Release


The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, District II

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT:
Sue Nigra, Director of Communications
                   snigra@ny.acog.org; (518) 436-3461

Women's Health Executive
Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

 
Albany, NY - November 18, 2010 - Local health executive, Donna Montalto, MPP, recently received the Lifetime Achievement Award from The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG District II). As executive director of the statewide chapter, Ms. Montalto received the prestigious award in Manhattan on October 29th. Founded in 1951, ACOG is the nation's leading group of physicians providing health care for women. One of the largest Districts of the College, the New York State chapter represents more than 4,000 board certified obstetrician-gynecologists who deliver health care to women.

"To win this award at such a young age and especially as a non physician is incredible, but very well deserved," said Scott Hayworth, MD, FACOG, and Chairman of ACOG District II. "Donna is the bedrock of the ob-gyn community in New York with an innate ability to lead - and she does everything in the name of women's health."

Ms. Montalto is well respected for her decade's long success in the field of medical association management with special emphasis on women's health education, continuing medical education for physicians, governmental policy analysis, and grant development.

Donna Montalto's relationship with District II began in 1990, when she served as the organization's principle lobbyist ensuring favorable implementation of important women's health policy initiatives. Under Ms. Montalto, well known laws came to fruition including policies that assure women direct access to an ob-gyn without referral; mandatory insurance coverage for Pap smears and insurance coverage for breast reconstructive surgery after mastectomies. With a long background in and out of the public and private sector, she continues to set priorities for the New York State Legislature that highlight the importance of women's health.

In 1998 Ms. Montalto became District II's Executive Director. Her accomplishments include the following:

  • Implemented standards for low-income women to receive high quality prenatal care through state law and regulation.
  • Established the Safe Motherhood Initiative - a joint project with the New York State Department of Health to prevent pregnancy-related deaths and racial disparities by using on-site, hospital based chart reviews.
  • Launched the Focus on Female Cancers resource guide, a publication distributed free of charge to health care professionals across New York. The educational guide features the very latest research and insight regarding cervical, breast, ovarian, colorectal and hereditary cancers in women.
  • Implemented dozens of grand rounds programs for physician specialties including: post-partum hemorrhage; the effects of smoking on women; cardiovascular disease in women; pre-term birth prevention; and cultural competency education for clinicians.
  • Wrote the law guaranteeing women a 48 hour hospital stay after giving birth and 96 hours following a cesarean delivery.
  • Helped develop the Perinatal Depression Initiative - an effort to improve ob-gyns' capacity to screen, assess and manage perinatal depression.
  • Assisted in the development of improved health care guidelines for women in prison.
  • Developed the first, annual Women's Healthy Life Expo in Albany in 2000, which to this day, offers the public free access to information, technology and a wide range of preventative health screenings.
  • Produced numerous patient education materials on a wide range of women's health topics including H1N1 and seasonal flu vaccine; pre-conception counseling; and women and heart disease.

"I was deeply honored and genuinely surprised to be presented with this award," said Ms. Montalto. "While I am extremely proud of the hard work we perform every day in our Albany office, I really do consider it a team effort. How lucky I am to be surrounded by such a dynamic and talented team of women."

Ms. Montalto holds a Masters Degree in Public Policy from SUNYA. She is a 1997-98 graduate of Leadership Saratoga and a 2007 graduate of the Empire State Society of Association Executive's Leadership Program. She serves on numerous medical and community boards including: the Leadership Saratoga Advisory Board, the Saratoga Hospital Board of Trustees, the Center for Women and Government in Civil Society of SUNY Albany and is secretary to the Clifton Park Baseball League. She is a nationally certified exercise instructor who teaches aerobics and boot camp at the Southern Saratoga YMCA. She and her family reside in Clifton Park, New York.

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